Coming in from the Cold

Coming in from the Cold explores forgotten—or never-remembered—national security policy initiatives, incidents and events during the Cold War. In each episode Cold War Historian Bill Rosenau, will sit down with experts on a wide range of topics to discuss these events and how they are relevant to today’s challenges.

The views expressed here are those of the commentators and do not necessarily reflect the views of CNA or any of its sponsors.

Episode 22

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This month on Coming in From the Cold, a discussion of the history of Afghanistan leading up to the Soviet Invasion, and the wars legacy in the modern day nation.

Regular guest Steve Wills sits in for Bill Rosenau as host and is joined by Ohio University professor of history Dr. John Brobst, and Dr. Jon Schroden Director of CNA's Center for Stability and Development.

Biographies

Dr. Jonathan Schroden is the Director of CNA's Center for Stability and Development (CSD), and also directs CNA's Special Operations Program, which focuses on research and analysis on the most complex and challenging issues facing special operations forces (SOF) today and in the future.

Dr. John Brobst is an associate professor of history at Ohio University, where he teaches courses on the British Empire, geopolitics, and naval history, including a popular course on “Afghan Wars and the Great Game in Asia.”


Episode 21

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This month on Coming in From the Cold, CNA analyst Pamela Faber and Steve Wills join Bill to discuss Project Coast. This was the covert effort of the Apartheid government to develop chemical and biological weapons, assassinate political dissidents, and continue the oppression of the Apartheid State in South Africa.

Biographies

Lt. Cdr. Steven Wills: In 20 years as an active duty U.S. Navy officer, Wills served on a variety of small and medium surface combatants, including an assignment as the executive officer of a mine countermeasures ship.

Pamela Faber is an expert in security and development in conflict and post-conflict regions in Africa and the Middle East. She focuses on, failed and fragile states, non-state armed groups, transnational challenges, and issues of governance.

Related Materials

Chandré Gould, Brian Rappert, Verne Harris, and Kathryn Smith, “Why Project Coast Still Matters,” Institute for Security Studies, November 24, 2014, https://issafrica.org/iss-today/why-project-coast-still-matters.

“Special Investigation into Project Coast: South Africa’s Chemical and Biological Weapons Programme,” Truth and Reconciliation Commission (South Africa), October 29, 1998, http://sabctrc.saha.org.za/originals/finalreport/volume2/chapters/volume2_ch9.pdf.

Stephen Burgess and Helen Purkit, The Rollback of South Africa’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Program (Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: U.S. Air Force Counterproliferation Center, April 2001).

Chandré Gould and Peter Folb, “Project Coast: Apartheid’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme,” United Nations Disarmament Research Institute, December 20, 2002, https://unidir.org/publication/project-coast-apartheids-chemical-and-biological-warfare-programme.


Episode 20

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On this episode of Coming in from the Cold, Bill is joined by CNA analysts Dawn Thomas and Meg McBride as well as Arie Perliger of U-Mass Lowell. They discuss the history of right-wing terrorism in the United States and what it can teach us about these groups today.

Biographies

Dr. Arie Perliger is a Professor and the director of the graduate program in security studies at the School of Criminology and Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell. Before his arrival to UML, Dr. Perliger was the Director of Terrorism Studies and Associate Professor at the Combating Terrorism Center and Department of Social Sciences, US Military Academy at West Point.

Dawn Thomas is the Co-Director of CNA’s Center for Emergency Management Operations.

Megan McBride is a Research Analyst in CNA’s Center for Stability and Development.


Episode 19

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On this episode, Professor Stuart Schrader of John Hopkins University and CNA’s Stephen Rickman join Bill. They discuss how counter-insurgency tactics used by the U.S. military abroad were repatriated and used by police departments in American cities.

Biographies

Stephen Rickman, MA, is an expert in police-community relations. He has worked for over 20 years in high-level positions in public safety and community support.

Stuart Schrader is the Associate Director of the Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship at Johns Hopkins University.


Episode 18

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Paul Saunders and Alex Powell join Bill to discuss the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, and how world powers continue to make the same mistakes.

Biographies

Alex Powell is an expert on terrorist group tactics, counterterrorism, and special operations forces (SOF). Regionally, he focuses on South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Paul Saunders is an expert on Russia, overseeing research on that country's foreign energy policy, foreign policy, national security policy and domestic politics, as well as U.S.-Russian relations.


Episode 17

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This month on Coming in from the Cold, Kasey Stricklin returns for another discussion of disinformation, this time with Thomas Rid Professor of Strategic Studies at John Hopkins University.

Biographies

Kasey Stricklin is a research analyst with CNA's Adversary Analytics team, where she is a member of the Russia Studies Program. Her research specialization is the psychological side of information warfare, including disinformation and propaganda.

Thomas Rid is a Professor of Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He has more than a decade of experience in international security and intelligence studies, previously serving as a Professor of Security Studies in the Department of War Studies at King's College London, where he developed a Cyber Security module that bridged the gap between technological and political debates.


Episode 16

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Special Guest Doug Selvage of the Humboldt University in Berlin and returning guest Kasey Stricklin, join Bill to discuss the how the Soviet Union and Russian Federation craft disinformation campaigns around pandemics. 

Biographies

Dr. Douglas Selvage is a Senior Research Associate (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the Institute of History of the Philosophical Faculty of the Humboldt University in Berlin, where he recently began the research project, “Active Measures and Propaganda, 1966-1989: The Stasi, the KGB and their European Allies.” From 2013-18, he served as Project Director in the Education and Research Division of the Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU) in Berlin. There, he directed the historical research project, “The Ministry of State Security and the MGB/KGB in the Soviet Bloc, 1950-1989.”

Kasey Stricklin is a research analyst with CNA's Adversary Analytics team, where she is a member of the Russia Studies Program. Her research specialization is the psychological side of information warfare, including disinformation and propaganda.

Additional Reading

Wilson Center: Operation “Denver”: KGB and Stasi Disinformation regarding AIDS, by Doug Selvage

CNA InDepth: Russia's Coronavirus Messaging and Disinformation, by Kasey Stricklin


Episode 15

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Special Guest Tanvi Madan of the Brookings Institute and Nilanthi Samaranayake join Bill to discuss, the shifting relationship between India, China and the United States during the Cold War.

Biographies

Tanvi Madan is the director of The India Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Madan’s work explores India’s role in the world and its foreign policy, focusing in particular on India's relations with China and the United States.

Nilanthi Samaranayake directs the Strategy and Policy Analysis Program. She has led several studies at CNA on Indian Ocean and South Asia security. Recently Samaranayake has worked on U.S.-India naval cooperation, water resource competition in the Brahmaputra River basin, and Sri Lankan foreign policy.


Episode 14

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On this episode of Coming in from the Cold, Bill and his guests put the cold in Cold War. Steve Wills returns along with Josh Tallis to discuss the history of the Cold War in the Arctic, and its implications for modern Arctic security.

Biographies

Joshua Tallis is a Research Scientist specializing in maritime security, irregular threats, and issues of naval and national security strategy. Josh also served as the CNA field representative to Carrier Strike Group EIGHT during the Navy's first instantiation of Dynamic Force Employment in the High North.

Lt. Cdr. Steven Wills: In 20 years as an active duty U.S. Navy officer, Wills served on a variety of small and medium surface combatants, including an assignment as the executive officer of a mine countermeasures ship.

Additional Resources

Arctic Maps

Tsar Bomba

Camp Century

Project COLDFEET

US Navy Arctic Roadmap

A Soviet Ghost Town in the Arctic Circle, Pyramiden Stands Alone

Report encourages Norway to reopen Olavsvern submarine support base


Episode 13

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On this episode, from Sputnik to Apollo to Star Wars, we cover the Cold War in space. Steve Wills returns, joined by special guest Don Brown, who leads the government group at Telesat, a major satellite operator.

Biographies

Don Brown has more than 20 years’ experience in satellite communications and digital distribution systems. He is a specialist in applying commercial satellite solutions to government space mission requirements and currently leads Government Services, for Telesat.

Lt. Cdr. Steven Wills: In 20 years as an active duty U.S. Navy officer, Wills served on a variety of small and medium surface combatants, including an assignment as the executive officer of a mine countermeasures ship.


Episode 12

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On this episode, Operation PBSUCCESS, a covert operation carried out by CIA that deposed Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz. Georgetown University Professor Sean McFate, and CNA’s Eleanore Douglas join Bill to discuss the operation and its implication for the modern security environment.

Biographies

Sean McFate is a foreign policy expert, author and novelist. He is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington DC think tank, and a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He is the author “The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder”

Eleanore Douglas is a Research Analyst at CNA. She specializes in strategy, defense planning, and security cooperation. She is an expert in the application of scenarios and "red team" techniques, experienced in assessments & evaluation and risk analysis.


Episode 11

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Chung Min Lee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and returning guest Ken Gause join Bill to discuss the history of the Kim Dynasty in North Korea.

Biographies

Ken Gause is the director of the Adversary Analytics Program. He is CNA's senior foreign leadership analyst and has spent the last 20 years developing methodologies for examining leadership dynamics of hard-target, authoritarian regimes. His latest book is "North Korean House of Cards: Leadership Dynamics Under Kim Jong-un."

Chung Min Lee is a senior fellow in the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. From 2013 to 2016, he served as ambassador for national security affairs for South Korea, and from 2010 to 2011 as ambassador for international security affairs. He is the author of “The Hermit King: The Dangerous Game of Kim Jong Un.”


Episode 10

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Returning guest Steve Wills and new comers Vince Manzo and Anya Fink sit down to discuss the history of nuclear weapons, and the events that shaped modern nuclear policy.

Biographies

Vincent Manzo is an expert in nuclear weapons policy. His research portfolio includes deterrence, extended deterrence, escalation management, strategic stability, and arms control.

Lt. Cdr. Steven Wills: In 20 years as an active duty U.S. Navy officer, Wills served on a variety of small and medium surface combatants, including an assignment as the executive officer of a mine countermeasures ship.

Anya Fink is an expert in Russia policy. Her research is focused on Russian approaches to deterrence and Russian military thought.


Episode 9

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David Wallsh and returning guest Steve Wills join Bill to discuss the Yom Kippur War and how it shaped the modern Middle East.

Biographies

Lt. Cdr. Steven Wills: In 20 years as an active duty U.S. Navy officer, Wills served on a variety of small and medium surface combatants, including an assignment as the executive officer of a mine countermeasures ship.

David Wallsh is an expert in Middle East affairs and international security issues, including alliance politics, security cooperation and building partner capacity.


Episode 8

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Ken Gause and Ralph Espach return, to continue the story of how the U.S. government responded to UFO sightings in the mid-1900s.

Ken Gause is the director of the Adversary Analytics Program. He is CNA's senior foreign leadership analyst and has spent the last 20 years developing methodologies for examining leadership dynamics of hard-target, authoritarian regimes. His latest book is "North Korean House of Cards: Leadership Dynamics Under Kim Jong-un."

Ralph Espach is director of Latin American Strategic Affairs at CNA. He is an expert in U.S.-Latin America security relations, climate change and security, and security cooperation monitoring and assessment. His 2016 book, "The Dilemma of Lawlessness" from the Marine Corps University Press, examines the impact of organized crime in Guatemalan border communities.


Episode 7

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On this month’s Coming in From the Cold, Cornell Overfield and Jeffrey Edmonds join Bill to discuss political warfare in Germany during the 1940s and 1950s.

Cornell Overfield is a graduate student in Yale’s European and Russian Studies program. He focuses on Central Europe after 1945, the expansion of institutions after the end of the Cold War, and international relations theory. He has published the first English-language study of East German political warfare against West German in the early Cold War. 

Jeffrey Edmonds is an expert on cyber operations in Russia and Eurasia. Edmonds previously served as the Director for Russia on the National Security Council and acting Senior Director for Russia during the 2017 presidential transition. His research at CNA focuses on the Russian military, foreign policy, Russian threat perceptions and Russian information operations.


Episode 6

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Michael Connell, the head of CNA’s Iran Studies Program, joins Bill and returning guest Kasey Stricklin to discuss the Iran-Iraq war.

Kasey Stricklin is a research analyst with CNA's Russia program. Her current research focuses on Russian naval leadership, personnel and demographics. She has also conducted research at CNA on Russian nuclear strategy and thinking. She currently writes on women in the Russian economy for BMB Russia.

Michael Connell is an expert in Persian-Gulf security-related issues, the armed forces of Iran, U.S.-GCC security cooperation, and adversary cyber policy and strategy. He has served as CNA's Field Analyst to Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT).

Episode 5

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In this episode, the little-known story of QRHELPFUL, a CIA operation in Poland which supported Solidarity during the dark days of Martial Law.

Seth G. Jones is the director of CSIS Transnational Threats Project and a CNA Senior Fellow. He teaches at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

Kasey Stricklin is a research analyst with CNA's Russia program. Her current research focuses on Russian naval leadership, personnel and demographics. She has also conducted research at CNA on Russian nuclear strategy and thinking. She currently writes on women in the Russian economy for BMB Russia.

Episode 4

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On October 20, 1981, an infamous crime shook the New York suburb of Nanuet. The botched robbery of an armored Brink's trunk resulted in the death of two police officers and a Brink's security guard. When the police first apprehended the robbers, they simply believed them to be a group of well-armed thieves. In fact, they were members of America’s first female terrorist group, the May 19th Communist Organization, the subject of Bill Rosenau’s new book, "Tonight We Bomb the U.S. Capitol."

Dawn Thomas is an Associate Director and Research Analyst on the Safety and Security team of CNA, and is an expert in large-scale incident planning and response. Thomas came to CNA after studying terrorism and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she received her Master’s degree.

Episode 3

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In 1947 Kenneth Arnold, a salesman from Boise, Idaho, was flying over Washington state in a private plane. Sometime around 3 p.m., Arnold saw a series of bright flashing lights and a group of nine flying objects moving in formation. He said the objects moved as though “skipping on water.” The media took the image and ran with it. The term “flying saucers” was born. This was the beginning of a wave of UFO sightings. During the following month, newspapers covered more than 850 UFO cases in over 90 cities across the U.S. and Canada. These reported sightings alarmed the U.S. national security establishment. Just what was going on in the skies over North America? Guests Ken Gause and Ralph Espach join Bill to discuss this wave of UFO sightings and the response of the U.S. Government.

Ken Gause is the director of the Adversary Analytics Program. He is CNA's senior foreign leadership analyst and has spent the last 20 years developing methodologies for examining leadership dynamics of hard-target, authoritarian regimes. His latest book is "North Korean House of Cards: Leadership Dynamics Under Kim Jong-un."

Ralph Espach is director of Latin American Strategic Affairs at CNA. He is an expert in U.S.-Latin America security relations, climate change and security, and security cooperation monitoring and assessment. His 2016 book, “The Dilemma of Lawlessness” from the Marine Corps University Press, examines the impact of organized crime in Guatemalan border communities.

Episode 2

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In this episode of Coming in from the Cold, Bill welcomes Rear Admiral Mike McDevitt (Ret.) and Commander Steve Wills (Ret.) to discuss the Maritime Strategy of the 1980s. McDevitt and Wills recall some of the key players surrounding the development of the Maritime Strategy. This includes CNA analysts who used open source data to hypothesize that the goal of the Soviet Navy was to protect their ballistic missile submarines. Additionally, they point to Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, who helped convince the Reagan administration that a 600-ship fleet was necessary to challenge the Soviet Navy. Finally, the group discusses the key role that perception played in the Maritime Strategy, enhancing deterrence by reinforcing in the Soviet mind the idea that they could not win a war with the United States.

Guest Bios

Rear Adm. Michael McDevitt: During his 34-year naval career, McDevitt held four at-sea commands, including command of an aircraft carrier battle group. He spent all of his operational time in the Pacific, including a two-year assignment in Sasebo, Japan. McDevitt was Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group Fellow at the Naval War College and has been the Director of the East Asia Policy Office for the Secretary of Defense. McDevitt holds an M.A. in American Diplomatic History from Georgetown University and a B.A. in U.S. History from the University of Southern California. He is also a graduate of the National War College.

Lt. Cdr. Steven Wills: In 20 years as an active duty U.S. Navy officer, Wills served on a variety of small and medium surface combatants, including an assignment as the executive officer of a mine countermeasures ship. He also held shore-based billets at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD), and at NATO Joint Forces Command (JFCNP), Naples, Italy. Wills holds a Ph.D. in military history and an M.A. in history from Ohio University, an M.A. in National Security Policy from the Naval War College, and a B.A. in history from Miami University, Ohio.

Episode 1

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In 1983, The Patriot, an Indian newspaper with longstanding Soviet connections, printed an anonymous letter from New York, claiming that AIDS had actually been developed by the U.S. government as a bioweapon.  At the time, the story had little impact, but by late 1985 the story took off. As AIDS spread around the world, people were desperate for an explanation of the terrifying new disease. By the end of the year the story had run in 12 other countries. And where did this pack of lies originate? It was a prime example of Soviet disinformation.

Guests Michael Kofman and Kasey Stricklin join our host, Bill Rosenau, to discuss Soviet disinformation tactics and how they compare to methods used by the Russian Federation today.

Guest Bios

Michael Kofman is the director of CNA’s Russia Program. His research focuses on security issues in Russia and the former Soviet Union, specializing in defense and military analysis. Michael has advised senior military and government officials on Russia, Eurasia and Pakistan and represented the Department of Defense on numerous occasions before foreign officials and dignitaries.

Kasey Stricklin is a research analyst with CNA’s Russia program. Her current research focuses on Russian naval leadership, personnel and demographics. She has also conducted research at CNA on Russian nuclear strategy and thinking. She currently writes on women in the Russian economy for BMB Russia.


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Contact

Elizabeth Cutler
Sr Communications Specialist
703.824.2388
cutlere@cna.org

John Stimpson
Communications Associate
703.824.2689
stimpsonj@cna.org